High School - Italy, High School Abroad

I officially feel Italian; I know my favorite gelato flavor!

by Mel Reitcheck, Greenheart Travel High School Abroad Participant in Italy

Today marks my 21st day in Italy.  Wow.  I am torn between feeling like it feels longer or shorter than that amount of time.  I have never been away from my parents for this long and it defiantly took a toll on me earlier this week.  I miss them, understanding what is going on more than 25% of the time, and being independent.   I felt like living in another country without my parents was going to make me feel more grown up, but it has done the opposite in a lot of ways. 

I don’t know the norms and schedules of this culture completely yet, so I feel like I can never make an educated decision (even on getting dressed! It takes me way to long to pick out an outfit in the morning because I always debate if it is appropriate or not); I can’t communicate very well in Italian, so I rely on the assistance of Antonella or a friend; and I can’t drive, which is not a major problem in itself, but there is a level of independence that comes from not asking for a ride everywhere and now that is gone too.  Along with this child-like dependency, though, has come child-like excitability.  I get excited about going to the most basic places, like the supermarket.

More often though I get excited about understanding or saying something correctly in Italian.  Last night, I had the first completely Italian conversation with my host dad and I stayed up for about an hour thinking about it and replaying it in my head.  Of course, the source of most of my current excitement is our quickly approaching trip to Roma.  Either next or the following weekend, Antonella and I are taking a bus to Roma with a group of French exchange students who are staying in San Benedetto.  I can’t wait.

In other news, Antonella and I have started cooking almost every day together.  Sometimes it is just a pasta sauce (which their sauces are amazingly simple), and other times, it is a delicious dessert. My favorite is thus far is Tiramisu. So very good! I sent the recipe to my mother, and my family back home likes it too.

P.S. my favorite gelato flavor is Cuore Matto (translates to ‘heart of the matter’).  So yummy! It is a cream based ice cream with fresh strawberries, chocolate sauce, raspberries, and crushed up cookies.  Read Mel’s recipe and more of her adventures in Italy…

About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.


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